THE SECRET WAR AGAINST SWEDEN
In modern democratic countries, political control is not easily
achieved through military power or propaganda. However, by the use
of deception and psychological warfare, the public, political elite and
local military forces may be deceived into supporting the policies of a
major power. Mass media is thus manipulated not by propaganda, but
Followingthe strandingof a Soviet Whiskey-class submarine in 1981
on the Swedish archipelago, a series of massive submarine intrusions
took place within Swedish waters – later described as the ﬁrst Soviet
military initiative against a west European state since the Berlin crisis.
After a dramatic submarine hunt in 1982, a Swedish parliamentary
commission stated that six Soviet submarines had ‘played their games’
in the Stockholm archipelago – one even in Stockholm harbour. The
Swedish government protested strongly to the Soviet Union, and rela-
tions between the two countries were icy for several years afterwards.
Today, however, the evidence for these alleged Soviet intrusions
appears to have been manipulated or simply invented. Classiﬁed doc-
uments and interviews cited in this book point to covert Western
rather than Soviet activity. This is backed up by former US Secretary
of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who stated, in a Swedish television
interview reproduced in this book, that Western ‘testing’ operations
were carried out regularly in Swedish waters, and by former British
Navy Minister Sir Keith Speed, who has conﬁrmed the existence of
such operations. Royal Navy submarine captains have also admitted to
havingcarried out top-secret operations in the Swedish archipelago.
Ola Tunander’s revelations in this book makes it clear that the United
States and Britain ran a ‘secret war’ in Swedish waters to test Sweden’s
capability and will in the 1980s. Within a couple of years, the number
of Swedes perceiving the Soviet Union as a direct threat had increased
from 5–10 per cent (in 1980) to 45 per cent (in 1983). In the same
period, the number of Swedes viewing the Soviets as unfriendly
increased from 30 per cent to more than 80 per cent. This Anglo-
American ‘secret war’ was a deception operation aimed at exerting
political inﬂuence over Sweden. It was a risky enterprise, but, as the
Swedish polls show, perhaps the most successful covert operation of
the entire Cold War.
C A S S S E R I E S : N AVA L P O L I C Y A N D H I S T O RY
Series Editor: Geoffrey Till
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21. The Secret War against Sweden: US and British Submarine Deception in the 1980s
THE SECRET WAR
US and British Submarine Deception
in the 1980s
OLA TUNANDERInternational Peace Research Institute, Oslo
Brigadier-General Lars Hansson
LONDON · NEW YORK
First published in 2004 in Great Britain by
11 New Fetter Lane
London EC4P 4EESimultaneously published in the US and Canada by
29 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
Copyright © 2004 O. Tunander
This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005.
“To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s
collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.”Frank Cass is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
The secret war against Sweden: US and British submarine deception and political control in
the 1980s. – (Cass series. Naval policy and history; 21) 1. Anti-submarine warfare –
Sweden – History – 20th century 2. Submarine warfare – United States – History – 20th
century 3. Submarine warfare – Great Britain – History – 20th century 4. Cold war –
Deception 5. Psychological warfare – Sweden – History – 20th century 6. Sovereignty,
Violation of – Sweden – History – 20th century 7. Sweden – History – Carl XVI Gustav,
1973– 8. United States – Military policy 9. Great Britain – Military policy
ISBN 0-203-49884-4 Master e-book ISBN
ISBN 0-203-58280-2 (Adobe eReader Format)
ISBN 0-7146-5322-5 (cloth)
ISBN 0-7146-8275-6 (paper)
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Tunander, Ola 1948–
The secret war against Sweden: US and British submarine deception and political control
in the 1980s / Ola Tunader
p. cm. – (Cass series – naval policy and history, ISSN 1366-9478; 21)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-7146-5322-5 (cloth) – ISBN 0-7146-8275-6 (paper)
1. Stockholms skègêrd (Sweden) – History, Naval – 20th century. 2. Sweden –
Politics and government – 1973– 3. Deception (Military science) – History – 20th century.
4. Submarines (Ships) – United States – History – 20th century. 5. Submarines (Ships) –
Great Britain – History – 20th century. 6. Special operations (Military science) – United
States – History – 20th century. 7. Special operations (Military science) – Great Britain –
History – 20th century.
359.9'84 – dc21
200305156All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any formor by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, includingphotocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permis-sion in writing from the publishers.The publisher makes no representation, express or implied, with regard to the accuracy of theinformation contained in this book and cannot accept any legal responsibility or liability forany errors or omissions that may be made.
To Robert BathurstIn memoriam
List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Foreword by Brigadier-General Lars Hansson
Series Editor’s Preface
List of Abbreviations
2. The Background: Operation NOTVARP
3. The Hårsfjärden Hunt: A War Diary
4. Reﬂections after the Submarine Hunt
5. Manipulation of Government Policy
6. The National Origin of the Hårsfjärden Submarine
7. Submarine Ghosts and Psychological Warfare Against
Appendix I: Sources – Archival Material and Interviews
Appendix II: Interview with Caspar Weinberger
Appendix III: Swedish Naval Forces Mentioned in
IllustrationsBetween pages 190 and 191
11. US Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger visiting the
underground naval base at Muskö in late September 1981.
12. US ships visiting Stockholm, 25–27 September 1982.
13. Journalists watching the helicopters at Berga during the
14. Boats and helicopters during the submarine hunt.
15. Fast attack craft dropping depth charge in Hårsfjärden.
16. Fast attack craft 160 Väktaren
, the Swedish vessel that dropped
most depth charges.
17. The mine station on Måsknuv island at Mälsten.
18. Helicopter 69.
19. Press conference with Chief of Navy Vice-Admiral Per Rudberg
and Commander-in-Chief General Lennart Ljung.
10. The Swedish parliamentary commission (appointed after the
Hårsfjärden incident), which presented its ﬁndings on 26 April
11. Press conference with Prime Minister Olof Palme, Defence
Minister Anders Thunborg and Foreign Minister Lennart
Bodström on 26 April 1983, after the parliamentary
commission had presented its statement about the Soviet
12. Soviet Ambassador Boris Pankin after having received a note of
protest from Prime Minister Palme.
12. Stockholm Southern Archipelago.
13. Muskö, Hårsfjärden, Mysingen.
14. Nynäshamn, Mysingen, Mälsten.
15. Submarine indications in the Stockholm area: 26–30
16. 1 October.
17. 2 October.
18. 3 October.
19. 4 October.
10. 5 October.
11. 6 October.
12. 7 October.
13. 8 October.
14. 9 October.
15. 10 October.
16. 11 October.
17. 12 October.
18. 13–14 October.
19. 11–14 October.
20. Måsknuv 11 October.
Map 1 reproduced courtesy of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.
Maps 2–4 reproduced courtesy of the Swedish Maritime Adminis-
tration. Maps 5–20 are by Ralf Lundberg and Ola Tunander.
- Book Cover
- List of Illustrations
- List of Maps
- Foreword by Brigadier-General Lars Hansson
- Series Editor's Preface
- List of Abbreviations
- The Background: Operation NOTVARP
- The Hrsfjrden Hunt: A War Diary
- Reflections after the Submarine Hunt
- Manipulation of Government Policy
- The National Origin of the Hrsfjrden Submarine
- Submarine Ghosts and Psychological Warfare Against Sweden
- Sources - Archival Material and Interviews
- Interview with Caspar Weinberger
- Swedish Naval Forces Mentioned in Chapter 3